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Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2013

Florence v. Goldberg

Headnote

Should government agencies pay when a plaintiff is injured by the agency’s failure to provide services to a specific group of citizens? The plaintiff is a six-year-old child who was struck by a taxicab while crossing the street near his school. The infant’s mother had allowed him to walk to and from school without an escort because she had previously observed the daily presence of a crossing guard. However, on the day of the incident, the regularly assigned crossing guard was ill. Furthermore, the police department failed to follow their standard operating procedure when crossing guards are unavailable; the department neither assigned a substitute patrolman nor notified the school principal of of the absence of a crossing guard.